This past weekend, Billy Eichner posted on Twitter about the negative response his gay rom-com Bros received from audiences around the country.
The first gay romantic comedy with a predominantly LGBTQ cast to be given a wide release by a major studio, Bros, was expected by Universal Pictures to debut in the $8–$10 million range based on the positive critical reception it received at the Toronto International Film Festival and the fervent social media attention it received.
But despite playing in 3,350 theaters this weekend, the movie only made $4.8 million, placing fourth at the box office behind the thriller Don’t Worry Darling (in its second week), the horror movie Smile (in its second week), and the historical epic Woman King (in its third week).
Bros was made for a relatively low $22 million, but Universal spent an additional $30 million on advertising and promotion, making it unlikely that the movie will be profitable.
Those who watched the comedy over the weekend were unanimous in their praise. Tweets from Eichner about witnessing “the rear of a packed-out LA theater showing BROS. The crowd roared with amusement from beginning to end, cheered at the conclusion, and some were wiping away tears as they left.”
In fact, Bros played well in major cities, with its greatest numbers coming from New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. It received a 91% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 92% rating from viewers. However, it performed worse elsewhere, particularly in the South.